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Mary L. Wentworth Papers, 1967-2003 (Bulk: 1959-1964)
6 boxes (9 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 129

Abstract:
The activist Mary Wentworth has worked throughout New England on behalf of a variety of progressive causes, beginning with the antiwar and feminist movements in the 1960s and 1970s and working against racism and other forms of discrimination, militarism, patriarchy, corporate power, and U.S. imperialism. In 1984, she ran for U.S. Congress against long-term incumbent Silvio O. Conte, winning almost thirty percent of the vote in a district in which Conte had run unopposed.

The Wentworth Papers include records relating to her congressional campaign against Conte, material on U.S. involvement in Central America during the 1980s, and other issues of concern throughout her career.

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research.

Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Biographical Note

After divorcing her husband in 1973, Mary Wentworth relocated to Amherst Massachusetts where she became involved as a community activist while raising her five daughters. Working at the Everywoman's Center in the late 1970s to early 1980s Mary was the director of the Poor Woman's Task Force. She ran for Congress in 1982 and 1984. She has become involved many social activists groups including but not limited to the Grey Panthers, NAACP, Colonial Village Tenants Union, Anti-Freeze, and CPPAX. She has also traveled extensively to Central America, China, Cuba, and Europe. Mary is a frequent contributor to the Hampshire Daily Gazette and the Valley Advocate. She wrote an autobiography in 2004 and is currently still living in Amherst.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Mary Wentworth Papers (MS 522). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Mary Wentworth, 1999.

Processing Information

Processed by Janiece Blackmon, Zach Burchell, David Kaczmarski, and Ashley Purvis, December 2010.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Link to SCUA
Language
English
Bibliography

See Wentworth's autobiography, Discovering America: A Political Journey (Philadelphia: X-Libris, 2003) Call no.: CT275.W3875 A3 2003.


Series Descriptions
1972-1984
57 folders

In anticipation of the 1982 primary elections, Wentworth made a bid for Silvio O. Conte's seat in the House of Representatives. Citing what she considered to be Conte's political failures to adequately address issues related to women's rights, workers' rights, and his support of President Ronald Reagan's economic policies, Wentworth galvanized a sizable constituency in her sticker-campaign that eventually garnered her nearly thirty percent of the Democratic vote in the 1984 elections. This series includes some of Wentworth's campaign speeches, photographs, items from her sticker-campaign, fundraising letters, notes on Conte's voting record in Conrgess, and a host of other materials related to her Congressional run.

1910-1952
27 folders

Wentworth was deeply committed to social justice. She involved herself in a wide array of organizations and broadened her scope across the sociopolitical spectrum. This series contains information regarding Mary's support of abortion rights and her growing concern for single mothers, as evidenced by a speech given relating the "Feminization of Poverty". She was also involved in welfare education and promotion during the Reagan years. Mary committed herself as well to education reform and joined a committee raising awareness of inaccuracies/misinformation in textbooks used by the Amherst area school system. One of Mary's most impressive accomplishments is her organization of the Colonial Village Tenants Union. Mary was very aware of the growing problem of rent control and endeavored to promote tenants'-rights awareness in the Amherst, MA area.

1910-1952
27 folders

Information relating to the various politically-oriented groups to which Mary belonged. Mary's activism undoubtedly played a key role in her decision to run for Congress, but she did not stop after her campaign. Involvement ranges from the late 1960s with the South Jersey Peace Center to opposition of the Boltwood Parking Garage in downtown Amherst, MA circa 2000. In between, her involvements cover citizen-based activism regarding tax legislation and political action, pursuing racial equality with the Grey Panthers and the NAACP and support of nuclear disarmament.

1974-1997
50 folders

Wentworth spent a great deal of time traveling before her Congressional campaign; she viewed her experiences as integral to deciding to campaign against Conte. Mary traveled to China in the mid-1970s as part of the United States-China Friendship Association and she also visited Cuba and Central America during the early 1980s; both trips are particularly intriguing given their respective time periods. Upon her return, Mary became even more committed to change abroad, frequently writing to newspapers and giving speeches/talks around Amherst; she even published Seeking Common Ground. This series contains: information relating to groups in which Mary was involved; journals, mementos, and correspondences from her trips to China, Cuba and Central America; Mary's involvement in a Sister City project in Nicaragua; and a wide array of other political interests from around the world.

1974-1993
8 folders

This series contains all the oversized and/or non-standardized materials of the collection. To be found: Mary's hand-made campaign fliers/other media; mementos from China, including oversized magazines (printed in English) and a carousel of slides from the trip; another carousel of slides from her trip to Cuba; and a box of mostly unorganized, unmarked audio/visual media.

1974-1985
27 folders

From 1979-83 Mary L. Wentworth worked at the Everywoman's Center (EWC) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as director of the Poor Woman's Task Force (PWTF). In the spring of 1983, Wentworth and Malika Jones, director of the Third World Women's program -- also under the umbrella of the EWC -- were informed that they would not be reappointed for the following year for failure to fulfill job-related duties. The contexts of this box include general information regarding the EWC and specific materials related to Wentworth's and Jones' termination, the subsequent struggle to get reappointed through a series of grievances filed, signed petitions and letters from community members in support of her (Wentworth) past efforts, advocacy, and contributions to issues involving women's rights.

Contents List
Series 1. Campaign against Silvio Conte
1972-1984
57 folders

Beginning plans
1984

Box :1
Budget
1982

Box :2
Campaign fliers and mailings
1982

Box :3
Campaign speeches
1982

Box :4
Campaign photographs
ca.1984

Box :5
Mary Wentworth Congressional Run: Media Coverage
1984

Box :6
Conte for Congress, itemized receipts
1981-1982

Box :7
Conte: correspondence, newsletters, notes
1980-1984

Box :8
Conte Material
1982

Box :9
Democratic Convention
1984

Box :10
Election Period
1982

Box :11
First District Congressional Elections
1972-1982

Box :12
In defense of the First District
1981

Box :13
Information of First Congressional District
1984

Box :14
John Arden for Congress, clippings
1982

Box :15
Letters
1982

Box :16
Letters from Vince O'Connor
1982

Box :17
List of people who had nomination papers
1982

Box :18
Receipts, Congressional campaign
1982-1983

Box :19
Record of Conte
1981-1982

Box :20
Stickers, voting instructions
1984

Box :21
Voting maps, First Congressional
1980

Box :22
Voting record
1982-1983

Box :23
Wentworth campaign
1982

Box :24
Mary Wentworth Congressional Run: Media Coverage
1983-1984

Box :25
Agricultural Reform
1984

Box :26
Campaign ads/fliers
1984

Box :27
Campaign correspondence
1984

Box :28
Campaign itineraries
1984

Box :29
Campaign newsletter
1984

Box :30
Campaign questionnaires
1984

Box :31
Campaign records: bank statements, deposit slips, balances
1984

Box :32
Candidate statements
1984

Box :33
Congratulation letters
1984

Box :34
Conte in Congressional
1982-1983

Box :35
Conte notes
1984

Box :36
Conte speech: senior citizens
1984

Box :37
Conte/Wentworth positions
1984

Box :38
Democratic National Committee v. Republican National Committee (New Jersey)
1984

Box :39
Democratic nomination notification
1984

Box :40
Eleanor Roosevelt Award
1984

Box :41
Events
1984

Box :42
Focus on Women, Inc.
1984

Box :43
Fundraising letters
1984

Box :44
Holyoke report
1984

Box :45
Labor issues
1984

Box :46
Letters to Conte's constituents
1984

Box :47
Mailing list (*necessary/legal?)
1984

Box :48
Media contacts
1984

Box :49
National Democrats
1984

Box :50
Nomination papers, lists of names, instruction sheets, receipts
1984

Box :51
Principles of Economic Justice
1984

Box :52
San Francisco Convention
1984

Box :53
Shirley Chisholm notes
1984

Box :54
Steering Committee
1984

Box :55
Women in campaign
1984

Box :56
Photo album
ca.1984

Box :57
Series 2. Social Justice
1969-1993
82 folders

Abortion: articles/fliers
1984

Box :1
Abortion: correspondence
ca.1980s

Box :2
Abortion: Pennsylvania Abortion Rights Association
1971-1972

Box :3
Alternative grouping
1992-1993

Box :4
Amherst Family Center: letters
1988

Box :5
Amherst Family Center: newsletters
1989

Box :6
Amherst Family Center: staff/board contacts
1989

Box :7
Amherst Family Center: fiscal information
1989

Box :8
Amherst police: sexual harassment/racism training
1981-1982

Box :9
Amherst Regional School District textbook grievance
1987

Box :10
Amherst School reports/hirings
1990-1992

Box :11
Biological/nuclear warfare
1984-1989

Box :12
Childcare: articles/information
1982

Box :13
Childcare: letters/contacts
1980-1981

Box :14
Childcare: notes/pamphlets
ca.1980s

Box :15
Economics
1986

Box :16
E.R.A.
1982

Box :17
Feminization of Poverty: notes/pamphlet
1981-1982

Box :18
Feminization of Poverty speech
1981

Box :19
Friends of Family Planning
1984

Box :20
Food stamps
1982

Box :21
Home coalition/housing discrimination
1993

Box :22
Instructional grouping
1991

Box :23
Jobs with Justice newsletter
1999

Box :24
LGBT issues
1983

Box :25
National NAACP: Civil Rights acts
1990

Box :26
NAACP: Diana Smith case
1990

Box :27
NAACP: Oliver case
1991

Box :28
Amherst NAACP v. Amherst/Pelham Regional Schools
1992

Box :29
NAACP: Stop and Shop
1990-1991

Box :30
National Women's Organization
1984

Box :31
No Nukes notebook, paraphernalia, sexism and nukes
1974

Box :32
Notes on tracking
1990

Box :33
Nuclear anti-19Gwen tower
1985

Box :34
Paul Buczula fight, Amherst Common
1990

Box :35
Paul Buczula fight response
1991

Box :36
People for Human Rights: position paper
1969

Box :37
Protest songs and chant
ca.1980s

Box :38
Sam Lovejoy trial notes
1974

Box :39
School committee agendas
1991-1992

Box :40
School committee: Dean's council
1991

Box :41
School committee guidelines/memorandum
1992

Box :42
Senior citizen health care
1983-1989

Box :43
Sexism papers
1970-1975

Box :44
Street life
1985-1986

Box :45
"Take it to Wall Street" protest
1979

Box :46
Telephone Action Network
1987

Box :47
"What is Racism?" paper
1970

Box :48
Reproductive rights
1983

Box :49
Welfare advisory board
1983

Box :50
Welfare law notes
1981

Box :51
Western Mass Women's League
1984

Box :52
Women's Conference Notes: Nuclear family
1971

Box :53
Women for Economic Justice
1982-1985

Box :54
Amherst rent control bill
1978

Box :55
Amherst Tenants Association (ATA): agendas/bulletins
1976-1977

Box :56
ATA: notes/articles
ca.1977

Box :57
ATA complaints
1977

Box :58
ATA: Brandywine survey
1977

Box :59
Colonial Village
1977-1979

Box :60
Colonial Village electrical complaint
1978

Box :61
Colonial Village: Kamin's response
1976-1978

Box :62
Colonial Village newsletters
n.d.

Box :63
Colonial Village security deposit survey
1978

Box :64
Colonial Village Study of successes/failures of CVTU
1981

Box :65
Colonial Village Union
1979

Box :66
Colonial Village Tenants Union (CVTU) agendas
1976

Box :67
CVTU contacts
1977

Box :68
CVTU expenses
1980

Box :69
CVTU notebook
1976-1978

Box :70
CVTU press releases
1978

Box :71
Colonial Village: weathering
1978

Box :72
Eviction proceedings cartoon
1977

Box :73
Homelessness
1984

Box :74
Housing
1982-1984

Box :75
Housing newsletters
1984

Box :76
Massachusetts Tenants Organization
1981-1984

Box :77
Rent control effect on taxes
1982

Box :78
Rent control notes
1977-1982

Box :79
Report on Reagan low-income housing budget
1984

Box :80
Tenants' information/laws
1976-1980

Box :81
Tenants' rights booklet
1977-1988

Box :82
Series 3. Activism
1967-2002
61 folders

Alternative Energy Commission
1974-1975

Box :
"Arrest at Westover" notebook
1985

Box :
Berkshire Forum
1987

Box :
Boltwood parking garage and opposition
1997-2002

Box :
Parking Garage opposition
n.d.

Box :
Heart of Amherst
1997

Box :
Canadian Ministry of Healthcare, Monique Begin
1985

Box :
Citizens Against PACs
1984

Box :
Citizens for Tax Justice
1988-1990

Box :
Citizens for Fair Taxes: agendas/meetings
1989-1990

Box :
Citizens for Fair Taxes: notes/fliers
ca.1989

Box :
Citizens for Fair Taxes: articles
1989-1990

Box :
Citizens for Fair Taxes: letters
1989-199

Box :
Citizens for Participation in Political Action -- CPPAX
1984

Box :
Citizen's Party
1983

Box :
College papers
1973

Box :
Committee for a Democratic Alternative
1982-1983

Box :
Correspondence
1985-1987

Box :
Congressional correspondence: non-19campaign
1981-1983

Box :
Congressional newsletters: non-19campaign
1982

Box :
CPPAX: newsletters
1993-1997

Box :
CPPAX: notes
undated

Box :
CPPAX: directory
1997

Box :
Emergency Committee for a National Mobilization Against Racism
1974

Box :
Grey Panthers: 1992 Convention
1992

Box :
Grey Panthers: articles/fliers
1986-1992

Box :
Grey Panthers: Health Care referendum
1992

Box :
Grey Panthers: letters
1985-1995

Box :
Grey Panthers: mailing list
1990

Box :
Grey Panthers: minutes/reports
1984-1991

Box :
Grey Panthers: notes
1995

Box :
Grey Panthers: position papers
1992

Box :
Haymarket Peoples Fund
1984

Box :
Landlord Tenant Relations Committee
1977-1978

Box :
Landlord Tenant Relations Committee: agendas and meeting minutes
1977-1978

Box :
Amherst NAACP contact list
1989-1990

Box :
NAACP elections
1991

Box :
NAACP meeting agendas/minutes
1989-1991

Box :
Amherst NAACP Political Action Committee
1989-1991

Box :
NAACP: fliers
1989-1991

Box :
NAACP: Rosemary's Place
1990

Box :
NAACP: New England Area Conference
1990

Box :
Amherst NAACP candidates forum
1992

Box :
NAACP memorandums
1990-1991

Box :
Network newsletter
1995-1996

Box :
Nuclear energy writings
1984

Box :
Nuclear freeze
1982-1983

Box :
Parking garage news coverage
1996-2002

Box :
Parking garage referendum
1997

Box :
Parking garage town meeting members and tally votes
1997-2001

Box :
Radio commentary notes
1984-1985

Box :
Regional Action Coalition
1970

Box :
Resist newsletter
1986-1987

Box :
Seabrook
1979

Box :
Socialist Scholars Conference
1990

Box :
South Jersey Peace Center
1967-1972

Box :
Tax Equity Alliance for Massachusetts, Inc. -- TEAM
1989-1990

Box :
United Farm Workers Organizing committee
1970-1971

Box :
US Peace Council
1986

Box :
Women's Liberation Movement of South Jersey
1970

Box :
Women's Liberation, letters
1972-1973

Box :
Series 4. International Involvement
1974-1997
50 folders

ABC's Amerika
1987

Box :
American Friends Service Committee
1987

Box :2
American Friends Service Committee Conference
1985

Box :3
Anti-Sovietism Mailing List
1985-1987

Box :4
Central America
1983-1987

Box :5
Central America, Nicaragua
1984-1986

Box :6
Central America Education Project
1986

Box :7
China Journal
1974

Box :8
China maps
1974

Box :9
China Mementos
1974

Box :10
China Pamphlets
1974

Box :11
Chinese publication in Russian
1974

Box :12
China Reconstructs
1975

Box :13
China trip, projector slide note
ca.1974

Box :14
China Travel Club
1974

Box :15
Common Ground papers
1983

Box :16
Contra speaker at UMass
1986

Box :17
Cuba Itinerary
1978

Box :18
Cuba Journal
1978

Box :19
Cuba Letters
ca.1978

Box :20
Cuba Mementos
1974

Box :21
Cuba Pamphlets
1978

Box :22
Cuba projector slides and notes
1978

Box :23
Ed Shanahan article, Nicaragua
1983

Box :24
El Salvador
1981

Box :25
El Salvador, Conte Aid
1984

Box :26
Grenada
1984

Box :27
Gulf War articles/fliers
1990-1991

Box :28
Gulf War: committee on Middle East/Other Groups
1990

Box :29
Gulf War: contact list
1991

Box :30
Gulf War: letters
1990-1991

Box :31
Hsinhua News Letters (*move to China?)
1974

Box :32
Intermodal Surface Transport Efficiency Act (ISTEA)
1997

Box :33
Lebanon
1984

Box :34
New England Central America Network (NECAN)
1986-1987

Box :35
Nicaragua
1983

Box :36
Nicaragua and Honduras writings
1983

Box :37
Nicaragua Sister City Project
1987

Box :38
Northern Ireland
1984

Box :39
Pekin Informa
1974

Box :40
People For Human Rights
1968-1969

Box :41
Philippines
1986

Box :42
Soviet Life, clippings
1985

Box :43
Soviet Union
1985

Box :44
Soviet Union and nukes
ca.1970-1985

Box :45
Trip to Europe
1982-1983

Box :46
Trip to Europe notes
1982

Box :47
US-China Peoples Friendship Association
1976

Box :48
Welfare, Britain
1988

Box :49
Women, Soviet Union
1984

Box :50
Series 5. Media
1974-1993
8 folders

Campaign Materials
1982-1984

Box :1
China Pictorial
1975

Box :2
National Health Program
1993

Box :3
Election Results
1984

Box :4
Miscellaneous film strips
undated

Box :5
Film Carousel 1: Cuba
1978

Box :6
Film Carousel 2: China
1974

Box :7
Audio/Visual Box
undated

Box :8
Series 6. Everywoman's Center
1974-1985
27 folders

EWC: Appeals for Reappointment
1982-1983

Box :1
EWC
1983

Box :2
EWC harassment
1983

Box :3
EWC: performance reviews
1979-1983

Box :4
Notes
1985

Box :5
EWC firing, media coverage
1983

Box :6
EWC: letters of support for reappointment
1983

Box :7
EWC: racism
1980

Box :8
EWC: supervisor meetings
1983

Box :9
EWC: Martini reports
1983

Box :10
EWC: work letters,
1982

Box :11
EWC: schedule
1979-1981

Box :12
EWC: poor woman task force firing -- Mary Wentworth
ca.1982

Box :13
EWC: poor woman task force project report
1974-1979

Box :14
EWC: memorandums/reports
1982-1983

Box :15
EWC: PWTF statistics
1981

Box :16
EWC: job performance review questionnaire
1981-1982

Box :17
EWC: Third World Women's program
1982

Box :18
EWC: Third World Women's firing
ca.1982

Box :19
EWC: welfare questionnaire
1981

Box :20
EWC: notes on job issues
ca.1982

Box :21
Workfare contacts
1981

Box :22
Workfare and women
1981

Box :23
Poor Woman's Task Force
1982

Box :24
Speech on disarmament
1983

Box :25
EWC: job issues
1983

Box :26
EWC: children and welfare
1985

Box :27

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Developmental biology.
  • Sharon (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century.

Contributors
  • Wentworth, Mary L.

Genre terms
  • Photographs.


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